Epic Labels In History: When Condiment Labels Led to Food Regulations | Labels Blog | YourLabelsNow.com

Epic Labels In History: When Condiment Labels Led to Food Regulations

Posted on 10/13/16

Today’s informed consumer relies on the information available on food labels to understand exactly what is included in the products that they are buying. But this wasn’t always the case, and if it wasn’t for a familiar brand of ketchup, we might not have the regulations in place to ensure that our food products are safe for consumption. That makes it an Epic Label in History!

Heinz Ketchup Bottle 1800sKetchup has been around in various forms for more than 500 years, but the tomato-based version that we are familiar with became popular in the mid-1800s. Unfortunately, at this time, most commercially available ketchup was made from tomato pulp that was stored in poor conditions, leading to contamination. Ketchup makers also used harmful preservative chemicals, as well as coal tar to maintain a red color. The result was that most ketchups on the market were not fit for consumption.

When Henry J. Heinz began releasing his products in 1869, he insisted on making them as pure as possible. He maintained sanitary conditions in his factories and packaged his products in clear glass bottles to allow consumers to see their purity. And even though it took him several decades to do so, he eventually was able to create a recipe for ketchup that did not require preservatives.

3 Ketchup BottlesHowever, Heinz didn’t stop at producing quality products; he also campaigned extensively against the use of chemicals in food products, and he demonstrated the purity of his products by including the statement “Free from benzoate of soda” on his food product labels. His efforts eventually led to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug act in 1906. This law created the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and required manufacturers to list all the chemicals contained in their foods on the product labels. After this, other food manufacturers, such as Van Camp’s Ketchup, began to follow his lead and produce their products without the use of preservatives or other harmful chemicals.

Heinz Ad 1900s

Due to Heinz’s work and leadership, American consumers now have the confidence that the foods they purchase don’t contain harmful ingredients, and they can understand exactly what is included in the food products they purchase through information on the food labels. That influence makes Heinz an Epic Label in History!

Are you looking to create your own condiment labels? In today’s marketplace, artisanal ketchups and other condiments are a growing movement (stay tuned for future blogs on the subject!). If you’re looking for advice on how to create artisanal condiment labels that will look great on clear food bottles, we’re here to help! Our label design experts can help you choose the best label materials, laminations, and adhesives, and we’ll work with you to design attractive labels that demonstrate the quality of your food products. You can get started by ordering a free sample today. We look forward to helping you create great food bottle labels!

Image Credits: 1800s Heinz Ketchup Bottle via Red Raven Collectibles on Pinterest. Vintage Ketchup Bottles and Heinz ad via HistoricIndianapolis.com.